A new player entered the race to disrupt the country's current cable television model Tuesday, with reports that tech giant Google has reached out to multiple media companies about licensing content for an Internet TV service that would compete with traditional cable TV bundles.
First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the service would be similar to recent efforts launched by Intel and Apple, aimed at an "over the top" TV subscription package that would be similar to traditional cable offerings from companies like Comcast or Time Warner.
It's unclear which media companies Google has been speaking with. The New York Times reports that no deals are imminent.
Google has been dabbling in television for some time now. Its Google Fiber service offers an alternative to traditional cable companies in select U.S. markets. The company also offers Google TV, a Smart TV software system that integrates the company's Chrome browser into various television sets. Google also offers a massive array of content through YouTube and its Google Play Video store.
According to the Journal, this is not the first time Google has pitched this type of service. The company held meetings with media companies about two years ago, but the talks failed to yield any serious business ventures.
Intel is ready to launch something similar to Google's reported plan by the end of the year. The service, called OnCue, will offer live TV feeds through a broadband connection, along with on-demand programming and DVR capabilities.
Sony, Microsoft and Apple are also all rumored to be launching similar services through their own set-top boxes or gaming consoles that are already on the market.
The Google rumors come during a turbulent year for businesses attached to the current cable TV business model. A federal appeals court recently denied to re-hear the case of a conglomerate of broadcasters, including Walt Disney, CBS and Comcast, aimed at shutting down Aereo, a service that allows customers to watch and record live, over-the-air television broadcasts on Internet-connected devices.
The broadcasters claim that Aereo infringes upon their copyrights, a claim that was shot down by the U.S. Court of Appeals in early 2013.